Tips On A Wedding In Tuscany

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tips On A Wedding In Tuscany
Posted by Virginie (08/04/2016)

Tuscany is frequently mentioned as one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world. Perhaps that’s why it has become popular as a wedding destination. When it comes to wedding venues, there’s so much choice, from Tuscan castles and adorable chapels to vineyards and private villas. You can choose to get married on the beach, in the countryside, in a medieval hilltop town, or in a magnificent Tuscan city such as Florence or Siena.

You may think that getting married abroad would be really expensive, but a wedding in Tuscany can cost the same amount as getting married in the UK. You just need to do your research and find a venue to suit your budget. Planning a wedding in a foreign country can be tricky, so we have put together some helpful tips.

Tuscan Wedding Top 10 Tips

Follow these Top Ten Tips and make your dream come true…

Do you think getting married abroad is an impossible task to achieve? Do you want to break away from a traditional wedding, but don’t know where to start? We’ve put together some information and top tips you MUST read before planning your big day, because a romantic wedding in Tuscany might be easier than you think...

The Location - A quick overview
Located in the heart of Italy, the region of Tuscany is best known for its artistic legacy and mountainous, hilly countryside offering up the finest of Italian produce and wine. Widely recognized as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany has some stunning architecture, tucked away in historical towns and nestled in among sun-kissed landscapes, criss-crossed with Italian vineyards. Its romantic capital Florence is brimming with artistic and medieval history, while the West is home to a beautiful coastal region stretching from Pisa with its famous leaning tower in the North to Grosseto in the South. A mild climate with plenty of sunshine and a myriad of charming towns, villages and sights mean Tuscany truly is a picture-perfect wedding location.

Firstly there are private villas where the entire wedding party stays together in the one place, and secondly, there are hamlets where your guests can each have their own private apartment or villa but the wedding party is still all in the one location. To Tuscany have several hamlet type properties that are ideal for larger wedding parties, as well as beautiful villas for more intimate weddings.

The Cost - Cheaper than you think!
Did you know it can cost the same to book a venue, honeymoon and accommodation for your guests abroad as it can just to book a venue in Ireland or the UK?

Tip One: Choosing a location
Think first of what type of ceremony you would like as it might help determine your Tuscan wedding location. Are you dreaming of a beach wedding, or do you see yourself tying the knot in a romantic chapel in the centre of a historic town? The possibilities are endless!

Another thing to consider is the proximity to an airport. The closer you are to a main airport, the easier it will be for your guests to travel to and from the wedding. Likewise, certain airports might be easier to reach from a specific location in the UK than others, which can be good to know if the bulk of your guests are travelling from the same area. The two airports in Tuscany are Florence (FLR) and Pisa (PSA), although many of our villas are very near Bologna (BLQ) as well. Perugia (PEG) and Rome (FCO) also provide good links to the area.

And finally, although the Tuscan climate is overall mild and dry, there is slightly more chance of rain in the hilly areas.

Tip Two: When to get married
To catch the best weather conditions in Tuscany, the spring or summer are your best options, but autumn is a less busy time. Here are some things to consider:

The summers in Tuscany are usually dry, very sunny and very hot, with the highest temperatures on the coast and in the valleys.
The summer months (July & August) are also the busiest, meaning prices are higher.
The hilly areas have a more continental climate where rain is more likely.
Autumn (October and November) might be rainier, but still has dry days and is less busy and less hot. The Tuscan landscape is also extremely colourful during this time.
Winter in Tuscany can have sunny, mild days, but the nights can get very cold.

Tip Three: Book a villa
Whether you’re paying for your guest’s accommodation or not, the most cost-effective and efficient way to accommodate all your wedding guests is in a private villa or hamlet. In a private villa, all your guests will stay together in one place and in a hamlet, groups of guests or separate families will each have their own villa, set within the same grounds. Here are some of the advantages of booking a villa:

All your guests are in the same place, making travel easier to organise.
A villa or hamlet provides more spacious and private accommodation than hotel rooms.
Self-cateringfacilities mean your guests can take care of their own meals before and after the wedding.
Some villas or hamlets also have facilities to hold the wedding ceremony and wedding celebration, a great way to keep everything more intimate and keep costs down.

To Tuscany have a huge list of beautiful villas and hamlets to cater for wedding parties of all sizes and that can accommodate a wide range of needs. For US couples, the great news is that we have just lowered our US prices by a huge 20% due to the exchange rates! Click here for some great options for wedding accommodation. Or to choose a location first, click here for a great overview of Tuscan towns and villages.

Tip Four: Pre-wedding trips to Tuscany
Planning a wedding in Tuscany is fun because you’ll have an excuse for at least one trip to Italy’s finest region to iron out the details and legal requirements for marrying in Italy. Why not get a taste of Tuscan villa living and book one of the smaller options To Tuscany have to offer for your stay? If you make your trip during the low season, we’ll even offer you a few nights accommodation free of charge!

Once you’re here, you’ll be looking at different locations and the best way to get around is by hiring a car. It is usually more cost-effective to book your car hire from home and it’s also worth checking if your airline is offering any car-hire deals. The best deal To Tuscany has found is Auto Europe, who offer a good service at the lowest prices.

Planning ahead is essential to make the most out of your pre-wedding planning trip, which brings us on to our next tip…

Tip Five: Hire a Wedding Planner
At To Tuscany, we strongly recommend you make use of a wedding planner to help you with all the important details, such as finding a venue, catering, flowers, entertainment, the wedding cake, or even local traditions to really enhance your big day. Here’s why:

A wedding planner can do all the legwork for you and send you images and information via email so that your trips to Tuscany can be short and to the point, just to finalise decisions.
A wedding planner can help with language barriers and will have more local knowledge to make sure you are paying the right price for services.
There are legal requirements when marrying abroad and a wedding planner can help you with these too, so you don’t experience any unnecessary hold-ups! Our next tip gives you some preliminary advice.

If you’re not sure where to start, click here for some local wedding planners we can recommend.

Tip Six: Legal requirements for getting married in Italy
There are some legal requirements for getting married in Italy, although the process is fairly simple and in most cases can happen with short notice. Here are some rough guidelines to the paperwork required to get married in Italy. For full guidelines you should always contact an Italian Consular Officer in your country or the City Registrar (Ufficiale di Stato Civile) of the city where the marriage will occur.

Any foreigner wishing to marry in Italy will first need the following documents in place:

A passport (always check how long beyond your length of stay your passport needs to be valid for , e.g. 6 months)
Full birth certificate
If previously divorced/widowed, your divorce decree or death certificate
Documents may need to be translated into Italian and authenticated by an Italian Consular Officer.

You can then obtain any other important documents you will need to get married in Italy:

Nulla Osta: This certificate grants permission for you to marry in Italy and must be obtained from your country’s appropriate regional Consulate or Embassy in Italy. This is usually the only other document needed from UK or Irish citizens.

US citizens will need two extra documents:

Atto Notorio (Sworn Affidavit): This affidavit needs to be done prior to the wedding in an Italian Consulate in the US.
Apostille: This is a form of authentication issued to original documents (birth and, if applicable, divorce) for use in foreign countries.

There are costs involved with this process and you must always check how long the paperwork is valid for as it will expire after a given amount of time (usually three months). Different rules apply for each nationality, so always check with an Italian Consular Officer in your country.

Tip Seven: Travelling to and from Tuscany
The fastest and easiest way to reach Tuscany is by flying. It is by far the most popular option, especially as there are now a number of no-frills airlines offering good value flights from the UK and Ireland. It also means you know exactly when your guests will be arriving and it’s an easy way to book for large groups. Flying into Pisa or Florence is the most convenient way of reaching your villa in Tuscany, but other airports to consider with good links to the area are Rome, Perugia and Bologna.

Tip Eight: Give Guests plenty of notice
This is particularly important for weddings abroad, as it is likely that your guests will have to book some time off work, as well as making the necessary travel arrangements. Send out ‘save the date’ cards, emails, or even texts before your official invitations to make sure everyone can make it. It is a good idea to do this as soon as you have confirmed your wedding date.

Also make sure you remind your guests to check their passports will still be valid at the time of travel, so they have plenty of time to renew them. (In some cases your passport will also need to be valid for a certain amount of time beyond your stay, e.g. 6 months).

Tip Nine: Overseas wedding insurance
It is advisable start thinking about overseas wedding insurance as soon as you start finalising some decisions and putting down deposits. This will cover you for things like cancellations or damage to the wedding attire. Most overseas wedding insurance policies DON’T include travel insurance, so make sure you get that separately as well. After all, weddings are a large investment and you’ll want to have peace of mind and not take any risks. It’s worth using the internet to compare prices and to find the best deals for your requirements, as deals are always changing!

Tip Ten: Brides and grooms, choose suitable wedding attire
If you’re planning a wedding in the glorious Tuscan sunshine, you’ll want to make sure you’re not too hot on the day and choose your wedding attire accordingly. When shopping for your outfits, ask to see destination wedding dresses and groom outfits which are designed to keep you comfortable in warmer climates.

Another point to consider is getting your wedding outfits to and from Tuscany safely. Make sure you pack them carefully and allow for the extra luggage. Hang them up the moment you arrive - preferably in a steamy bathroom. 

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